Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Michele Margolis

2017-18 Planning Committee
Political Science

Michele Margolis is an assistant professor of political science. Her latest research project, titled From Politics to the Pews, challenges the widespread assumption in American politics that core social identities shape politics but are, themselves, largely impervious to political influence.  She does this by looking at religion, a social identity whose political relevance is routinely discussed in both academic and non-academic circles. The book demonstrates that individuals' partisan identities profoundly shape their engagement in the religious sphere. She refutesthe claim that America's current polarization is solely the product of religious sorting into the political parties, with seculars supporting the Democrats and the devout joining the Republican ranks. Instead, she shows that partisans also help produce this religious-political polarization, as Democrats select out of organized religion and Republicans select into it. A more detailed description of her book project is available here. The book is forthcoming at the University of Chicago Press.